The Great Pacific garbage patch is a collection of plastic and floating trash originates from the Pacific Rim, including countries in Asia, North America, and South America. Cleaning the “two enormous masses of ever-growing garbage” is quite the daunting task, but with technologies like the 4Ocean Mobile Skimmer, we may be closer than ever to solving this issue. Some of the plastic found in the patch is over 50 years old, and includes fragments of plastic lighters, toothbrushes, water bottles, pens, baby bottles, cell phones, and plastic bags. Read more for a video and additional information.
Scientists announced this week that NASA’s Mars InSight lander has detected strange magnetic pulses during the nighttime – exactly at midnight, a phenomenon that can’t yet be explained, that are raising “interesting questions.” They’re unexpected because these pulses are distinct from what are typically observed on the Earth’s surface at the same local time. Researchers suggest that they are associated with fluctuations in the induced magnetotail and on the magnetospheric boundary. Read more for a video and additional information.
Photo credit: Ittiz | CC BY-SA 3.0
NASA researchers claim that Venus could have been temperate planet hosting liquid water with an Earth-like atmosphere for around 2-3 billion years, until a dramatic transformation starting over 700 million years ago that resurfaced 80% of the planet. The Pioneer Venus mission that the planet may have once had a shallow ocean’s worth of water and to see if this was true, Dr. Way and his colleague, Anthony Del Genio, created a series of five simulations assuming different levels of water coverage. Read more for a video and additional information.
Remember ‘Oumuamua? It was the first known interstellar object detected that through the Solar System. Since it can’t be captured into a solar orbit, the object will eventually leave the Solar System and resume traveling through interstellar space. However, it will take the object roughly 20,000 years to travel the Solar System before leaving. Now, amateur astronomer Gennady Borisov has discovered a second interstellar object, called “C/2019 Q4”. Read more for a video and additional information.
Say goodbye to plastic / aluminum headphones, and hello to fungus. Design studio Aivan unveiled Korvaa, the world’s first headphones made from microbial-grown materials. The studio created two versions of the Korvaa headphones, with each consisting of six microbe-grown components with different properties: enzymatically produced, lignin-free cellulose; 3D-printed biodegradable microbial bioplastic PLA for the frame; a leather-like fungal mycelium for the soft foam inside the headset; biosynthetic spider silk for the mesh inside the earphone; and protein foam with plant cellulose. Read more for a video, additional pictures and information.
MIT engineers have created the blackest ever material, or to be more specific 10 times blacker than anything that has previously been reported. The yet to be named material is made from carbon nanotubes that were grown on the surface of aluminum foil. Why? The chlorine-etched aluminum foil captures more than 99.96% of any incoming light, making it the darkest on record. Read more for a video and additional information.
We’re still at least a decade away from commercial trips to the Moon’s orbit or even surface, but one startup company called Lifeship wants to give you a headstart, and it won’t break the bank. LifeShip founder Ben Haldeman is planning on sending human DNA to the Moon for just $99, or at least during the initial crowdfunding phase. Read more for a video about moon colonization and additional information.
Many already know that Vantablack, developed by Surrey NanoSystems in the United Kingdom, is the darkest substances known, absorbing up to 99.96% of visible light. We covered the BMW X6 that was covered in Vantablack a couple weeks ago, but now, this material has been put to the test against LiDAR at the Frankfurt Motor Show. Read more to see what happened.
Engineers know that creating robots that mimic nature is one of the hardest tasks possible, but a team at Imperial College London have just gotten one step closer. They created a flying fish that comes equipped with a small pump in its rear that takes in water from the environment and then combines it with calcium-carbide in a reaction chamber to produce combustible acetylene gas, thus pushing it out of the water as the gas ignites and expands. Read more for a video and additional information.
NASA astronauts aboard the International Space Station (ISS) are experimenting mixing cement, a key ingredient in concrete, outside of Earth’s gravity for the very first time to understand how it hardens under microgravity. When mixed with water, cement forms a crystallized micro-structure that binds everything together as it dries, and is well-suited to life on Mars. If the experiment is successful, this would mean future astronauts could simply make concrete by mixing cement with rocks and dust (or moon dust) on Mars. Read more for a video and additional information.